Saturday, January 24, 2015

Unified Interpretation of SOLAS Regulation V/23.3.3

The Maritime Safety
Committee, at its ninetyfourth
session approved
a unified interpretation of
SOLAS Regulation
V/23.3.3 on pilot transfer
arrangements. 


Through MSC.308(88), amendments have been adopted to SOLAS Regulation V/23 requiring
pilot ladders on all ships (new and existing) to be clearly identified, new equipment and
arrangements for pilot ladders to be certified by the manufacturer and it has been prohibited to
use mechanical pilot hoists.
The Maritime Safety Committee, at its ninety-fourth session held in London on 17 to 21
November 2014 approved a unified interpretation of SOLAS Regulation V/23.3.3 as prepared by
the Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR), at its first
session.
What SOLAS Regulation V/23.3.3 requires?
The regulation states:
“Safe and convenient access to, and egress from, the ship shall be provided by either:
.1 a pilot ladder requiring a climb of not less than 1.5 m and not more than 9 m above the
surface of the water so positioned and secured that:
.1.4 the single length of pilot ladder is capable of reaching the water from the point
of access to, or egress from, the ship and due allowance is made for all
conditions of loading and trim of the ship, and for an adverse list of 15O; the
securing strong point, shackles and securing ropes shall be at least as strong
as the side ropes; or
.2 an accommodation ladder in conjunction with the pilot ladder (i.e. a combination
arrangement), or other equally safe and convenient means, whenever the distance
from the surface of the water to the point of access to the ship is more than 9 m.”
What is the interpretation of SOLAS Regulation V/23.3.3?
Subparagraphs 1 and 2 of SOLAS regulation V/23.3.3 address two different and distinct
arrangements – the former when only a pilot ladder is provided; the latter when a combined
arrangement of "an accommodation ladder used in conjunction with the pilot ladder" is provided.
 SOLAS regulation V/23.3.3.1 limits the climb to not more than 9 m on a single ladder.
If only a pilot ladder is to be used, the maximum height of 9 m from the "safe and
convenient access to, and egress from, the ship" to the surface of the water is to
include consideration of an adverse list of 15°.
 SOLAS regulation V/23.3.3.2 and section 3 of resolution A.1045(27) applies to a
combined arrangement of "an accommodation ladder used in conjunction with the pilot
ladder" for "Safe and convenient access to, and egress from, the ship" for which a 15°
list requirement does not apply.